EUROPE'S largest battery is to be built on Teesside, delivering 70 jobs and a huge boost to the UK's power network.

Sembcorp says it will build the 360mw energy storage system at its Wilton International site following talks at the COP26 envnironment summit. It already operates 70MW of batteries, with a further 50MW already in the pipeline to supply power and other services to the national grid in a matter of milliseconds. These super-rapid response times are crucial to maintaining a secure and stable energy system.

Andy Koss, CEO of UK & Middle East, Sembcorp Industries, said, “Now, more than ever, flexible energy sources play an increasingly important role in maintaining secure and reliable energy supplies.

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"With a growing reliance on renewables, the UK energy system needs to be flexible and able to respond quickly to changes. Sembcorp Energy UK is committed to accelerating the energy transition with sustainable solutions, such as batteries.

"Additionally, the location of this 360MW of batteries at Wilton International strengthens Teesside’s green regeneration and position as a hub of low-carbon innovation in the North East."

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said “As we shift to a greener electricity grid on our path to net zero, flexible energy storage will be key to ensuring we get the full benefit from our world-class renewables.

“This project will help put Teesside at the heart of the energy transition, bringing green growth to the region, while helping us deliver on our ambitious climate change commitments.”

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor added: “This is fantastic news that further cements our region’s reputation as ground zero for net zero. This investment will add 70 cleaner, healthier and safer jobs to the thousands we are already delivering across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool as we develop the critical technologies that are needed to make the UK net zero by 2050.

"Since the Industrial Revolution the ingenuity of Teessiders has spearheaded the development of new technologies. With this announcement, which will see the creation of Europe’s largest battery on the Wilton site, the message is clear: if you want to pioneer low-carbon innovation then come to Teesside.”

The project builds on the potential of the huge Wilton International site, where Sembcorp Energy UK has the available land and connections to enable swift instalment of the batteries, which will be built in tranches. The development is subject to final investment approval, with its first tranche expected to be operational by 2023.

The site sits within a hub of decarbonisation innovation from where Sembcorp provide energy-intensive industrial businesses with combined heat and power (CHP) through a  private wire network that supplies electricity generated by gas and biomass.

These crucial services are complemented by a fleet of fast-acting power stations and battery storage sites situated throughout England and Wales which deliver electricity to the national grid, helping to balance the UK energy system.

The plans for both this battery portfolio expansion, and the first-of-a-kind 300MW net zero emissions plant – Whitetail Clean Energy – announced in July 2021, are key elements in Sembcorp's greener future. If everything goes as planned, the company's total energy portfolio would be expected to total over 1.6GW, with almost half a gigawatt being supplied by batteries.


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